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Unnoticed

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Unnoticed.

Sometimes that is just how a momma feels. You do the dishes, unnoticed. You do the piles and piles of laundry, unnoticed. You clean the dog messes, unnoticed. You make dinner, a good balanced one, unnoticed. You faithfully go to the grocery store and get those groceries on a good budget, using those great coupons, unnoticed. You do a lot of things around the house, unnoticed.

Replace unnoticed with unappreciated. You feel it, you know you do. The doubts creep in, they consume your thoughts and make you feel like you are running this rat race with no help. Constantly doing things for others without anyone to help you or to say “Thank you.” “I see you.” “I appreciate you.”

Oh, but dear friend, you ARE seen. You ARE appreciated and many hearts are thankful for YOU and what you do!

Let us not get in this self pity rut of “Woe is me! I do everything without anyone’s help or recognition.” We do not live this life alone, this is not a lonely journey. We have loved ones that surround us that ARE seeing us.  They may not say it often enough. They may not know how to portray their thankfulness. But I guarantee they are thankful for YOU and what you do. Around the house, at work, with the kids, cleaning the dog messes, making dinner. It is all appreciated. 

But maybe it isn’t about being seen. Maybe it is about serving the Lord with gladness in ALL that we do. Colossians 3:23-24 tells us “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.”

What an idea. We may be making dinner for our family, but, in truth, we are serving the Lord. Everything that we do is in service to God.

So when you think you are unnoticed, unappreciated and alone, look up and remember that you are serving the Lord in all that you do.

Keep Reclaiming!

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Ombre Letters

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I worked hard on decorating my child’s room. I made it a little safari just for her. It looked great with hanging monkeys and branches to boot. It was missing something, something that said it was my daughter’s. That’s when I decided to make some ombre letters to go above her crib.

She is 9 months old, don’t ask me why I didn’t have this done when I was 9 months pregnant. The idea didn’t come to me until I was in my local craft store and saw some MDF letters on sale. There went the light bulb. Her name in ombre letters. Choosing a color was super easy – PINK!

I purchased some pink paint and a small thing of white paint.

Baby food jars make great mixing containers

Baby food jars make great mixing containers

To create your ombre, I simply added 1 tablespoon of my main color to the jar – in this instance, pink.

1 Tbsp pink in all jars

1 Tbsp pink in all jars

Then I incremented with 1 TBSP of white per jar. The first jar as one TBSP white and the last has 4 TBSPs of white paint.

1 TBSP of white, incrementing with each jar.

1 TBSP of white, incrementing with each jar.

Shake it like a polaroid! Shake, shake, shake! Shake your PAINT!

I love these foam painters you can find at a craft store and reuse bonus – the handles can be used as dowels for future projects or ribbon holders!

Foam brushes are amazing - break the foam top off to save for dowels on other projects!

Foam brushes are amazing – break the foam top off to save for dowels on other projects!

Then I painted each letter with the jars, I recommend labeling them! I had to do two coats to each letter.

Then I slapped some double sided foam tape to the letters, I didn’t want to fool with adding hangers to these.

Double sided foam tape

Double sided foam tape

And hung away!

Finished!

Finished!

How’s that for a quick and easy name plate for any room? I love it, especially how it curves like it is floating up into the clouds 🙂

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Junk Drawer Domination

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Everyone has one. Everyone hates it. Everyone despises its clutterfulness. I am talking about the junk drawer. I simply couldn’t handle mine anymore. We had tools, batteries, wax (yes WAX), writing utensils, nail clippers, and some spare change. I needed some organization in my life. I needed junk drawer domination!

The back story – I had already cleaned these 3 drawers out twice! I was tired of things being sloshed around trying to find the scissors. I had to do something before I lost my mind or hurt someone.

So, I ran down to our local dollar store and picked up 2 utensil trays. I pulled EVERYTHING out of the drawer, thank goodness for a large island! I then proceeded to put stuff away that never belonged in that drawer to begin with (um hello socks?!) Then I organized items neatly in their little compartments. We all started singing the Hallelujah chorus when everything had a place and everything was in its place. And it has stayed there since then.

The PIT, bottomless junk pit!

The PIT, bottomless junk pit!

It is absolutely amazing to me how a simple act of organization and labeling can keep the junk drawer at bay.

My coupon drawer

My coupon drawer

So if you are tired of your junk drawer being so messy, go grab some utensil trays and get to the junk drawer domination!

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DIY Address Marker

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Completed Address Marker

Our address marker used to be on our front door. Our front door used to be windowless. I decided to change out that door, and with it, the address marker. We went for a while without any way of identifying our house other than the mailbox, which really didn’t have numbers either! I then finally decided to make my own.

DIY Address Marker

Materials:

Permanent Marker
Shatter resistant plates
Plate hanger
Duct tape

I ran to my local craft store and found a plate hanger half off. Then I ran to my local big box retailer and found 3 of these red plates on clearance (SCORE)!

I proceeded to print out the numbers I needed, placed the number behind the plate, then held the plate up to light. It is amazing how these things are just like vellum, you can see right through to the number below!

I simply traced with my big fat marker. If you mess up, use rubbing alcohol to remove the marker and start over. Once you have your first number and you are happy with it, let it dry while working on the rest of your numbers.

You could stick the plates in a oven at 350º for 30 minutes, but mine seem to be holding up to the weather just fine.

Hang your plate hanger where you think best, place your cooled plates onto the hanger. Now, take it from me, you don’t want to be picking up a thousand little shards of plate out of your flower bed – duct tape the back of the plate to your plate hanger.

Completed Address Marker

Completed Address Marker

And in about 30 minutes you have an easy DIY address marker!

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Floor Makeover

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One nights work in the kitchen

Our floors were not in the best of shape when we bought this place. We had some really nasty stained carpets in all the bedrooms and the living room. The carpets near the back doors in the living room were the worst with evidence of mold. The flooring in the kitchen was a hodge podge of peeling vinyl and laminate. The dining room had parquet floors that were in decent shape but would need to be refinished. We needed a floor makeover!

We already knew we wanted hard wood through out the house. We searched for a while until we found a great deal on the internet for unfinished 3/4″ hardwood oak floors for .99¢ a square foot. It was important they were cheap because we had to get 2,200 square feet of it!

The floors were 4-6″ in length. We spent two weeks nailing these bad boys down. We developed a process that made it easy – I laid the boards and the hubby nailed them into place with this bad boy:

Powernailer

Powernailer

It is truly amazing how the right tool makes the job easier! We went through countless boxes of nails – each piece received 2 nails! We thought about whether or not we wanted to stain the wood, but after staring at the floors for 2 weeks we decided against it. There was so much variation in the floors, some looked like they had tiger stripes while others were a more red hue. So we called up a friend of an uncle and had him come and seal the floors for us. High gloss – because who wants to move all the furniture again in 10 years to have it polished? I also loved the look of high gloss floors.

OK – enough chatter! Here are the floors during and after installation! A caveat – when it says completed, really there is the area where the nailer wouldn’t fit against the wall that we had to go back with a different nailer and nail them down. This whole process took us about 3 months – but for 3 weeks we were out of the country 🙂

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There are a few lessons learned with installing these floors ourselves.

  1. Wear knee pads! This will honestly save you a lot of pain
  2. Make sure that first row of floors is square! If not, you end up with a crooked room
  3. Having two people makes the job go faster, having that little garden cart made it a little easier on my back!
  4. DON’T GET 4-6″ BOARDS! The longer the board, the less work involved 🙂

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A Place to Hang Your Hat

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Hook Rack completed

We have this problem: hats. Too many of them just tossed in the entry closet. There comes a time when we can’t find the hat we are looking for. I need a place to hang your hat. A place to hang your purse if you ever come to visit. A hook rack would be the best solution but they retail $40. That’s too much money for a simple piece of wood and some hooks. I bet I could make one.

I like reclaimed wood. I guess I am sort of an addict. I mean my shoe cabinet, my old tub surround, and even my laundry room don it. So I suppose it isn’t too surprising to hear that I want to make a hook rack for a place to hang your hat out of pallet wood.

Entry way mirror area

Entry way mirror area

The rack is probably the EASIEST thing I could have made! Simply found a piece of reclaimed wood laying in the garage long enough for my needs. I then secured a couple hooks to it. Then the hardest thing – making sure it was level while screwing it to the paneling. I let the hubby do that because I didn’t want the repercussions of messing it up! ! Something that retails for $40 cost me $10!

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Hung, happy and ready to carry the load!

Hook Rack completed

Hook Rack completed

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Bathroom Refreshed

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Decided to paint bead board full white

Our half bath in the entry way was a dark little dungeon in a very dark corner of the foyer. The walls were a deep maroon with a whitewash bead board on the bottom. This bathroom needed to be refreshed!

Foyer bath, kitchen to right, foyer to left

Foyer bath, kitchen to right, foyer to left

Not exactly what you would expect in a country style bathroom. Bathrooms should be bright and cheerful. So enters my paintbrush with some BRIGHT cheery blue!

Started with the blue

Started with the blue

To be exact it was Cloudless blue 🙂 It made the bathroom SO much brighter! But something was bothering me about the bead board. It needed to be bright white. Enter my second paintbrush and my wonderful mother in law because I was about 9 months pregnant painting this!

Decided to paint bead board full white

Decided to paint bead board full white

Simple bathroom refreshed with paint. I think I might like this Cloudless in the bathrooms 🙂

Cloudless bathroom

Cloudless bathroom

There is a mirror for this bathroom, but it is just a small nail hung thing. I already have an idea for it that will involve reclaimed wood. Another day.

Keep Reclaiming!

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Compost Bucket

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We try to be green at our house, a way of reducing and reusing more than recycling. We have a very large compost pile in our back yard and use a small 2.5 quart bucket in the house. Lately, I have been having a battle with the gnats. It is out of control! I don’t want to get rid of my bucket inside- it is super convenient right next to the kitchen sink, I can just empty the strainer and get back to dishes.

But there is no lid.

Compost with gnats!

Compost with gnats!

And it is chewed up by the dog.

Lovely holes thanks to the dog

Lovely holes thanks to the dog

Therein, lies the problem! So I went to my local home improvement store and got some lids for my bucket. They cost a whopping $0.77!

Simple lid!

Simple lid!

The buckets are a little more, but you can save any empty plastic container and use it 🙂 I wanted my bucket to be plain, so I let it soak in some rubbing alcohol and then wiped off the print.

To make a simple compost bucket, take the lid to your bucket and drill small holes in it, no bigger than a pencil, 5-10 of them is plenty. Run to the local pet store and get a fish tank filter- preferably one that will fit the lid to your bucket. I found a 2 pack, 4 uses for me, for only $3.00. Super glue that filter to the lid. The filter will help trap the odor from the compost. Once I have a minute, I plan on adding a simple “COMPOST” label from my vinyl cutter. Now start composting!

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For you city folk, this is a great place to put your coffee grinds and eggshells. Plants LOVE this combination, mainly because it is nutrient rich and blossom producing nitrogen! So don’t be afraid of composting!

Completed bucket

Completed bucket

Now if you have a gnat issue like me, save the next jar you empty. Poke holes in the top, not very big. Fill the jar with apple cider vinegar and place the lid back on it. Put the jar where the highest concentration of gnats are. It is kind of gross what you will find after a while. Below is a picture of my jar after a few days!

Enjoy your compost bin and gnat catcher!

Keep Reclaiming!

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Laundry Room

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The beginning of my laundry room was quite sad- 4 walls and a plywood floor.

Laundry room to the left after coming in from the garage

Sad laundry room beginnings

What makes the room even more melancholy, a small water heater secured to the CEILING. Again, the guy who owned the house before us was a complete moron. We covered that with some pallet wood to hide the ugly lurking behind.

Water heater cover

Water heater cover

The other issue with this small room, 9′ x 6.5′, the water line is on the right side of the room and the dryer vent on the left. My washer will only open to the left creating this annoying dance between the washer and the dryer when switching loads. I fought this battle for about a year until we decided to stack the machines.

Much better! To do this we had to run a longer gas line and a longer vent line. **Please do not run your own gas line! My husband has done this before and had it inspected before using our dryer. Go to porch.com and find a licensed professional to help you with this! ** I got to stare at these vent lines for a while, probably 6 months. Then I finally convinced the hubby to cover them with a box, that can open if we need to get to the gas line.

Gas and vent line cover

Gas and vent line cover

Now I had some time to think, dream, and drool over cabinetry in the laundry room. I already had in my mind exactly what I wanted: tall cabinet closest to the corner with a bottom cabinet in the other and some extra countertops we had in the kitchen on top. But we aren’t into spending money, part of Reclaiming the Joneses is reusing items to better serve us. We got some used kitchen cabinets from a family member. I knew JUST what to do!

Stacked cabinets before

Stacked cabinets before

I stacked the three top cabinets and they turned out to be the perfect thing, specifically depth, for this tiny laundry room! I threw the bottom cabinet to the opposite corner. I Then took them outside and spray painted like there was no tomorrow. I wanted WHITE!

We stacked the cabinets again and screwed the backs directly into the wall. My husband then had this GENIUS idea of how to finish off one side of the cabinets: pallet wood! We had already used this look with the water heater cover and I loved it.

We then secured the bottom cabinet to the wall, added the countertop, and a closet bar. We had to cut the countertop funky because of the space in the room, it isn’t the prettiest thing but it does work.

And a close up of the pallet wood outlets the hubby made 🙂

Thanks for following along as I revealed my awesome laundry room!

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All Season Wreath for My Entry Way

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Entry way with no decorations

I am a lazy decorator – I don’t have time to be changing stuff out constantly for the holidays. So instead of trying to switch out every month, I created an all season wreath for my entry way.

My husband had made me a grapevine wreath from some of the vine in the woods behind the house. It sat on the ledge in the living room for probably close to a year. Then I had an ingenious idea- use it!

Entry way

Entry way

I was in the middle of decorating my entry way, I had my old window hung where I wanted it. Something was missing, but I wasn’t sure what. I turned to my right, and behold, I saw the grapevine wreath! Perfect!

Entry way with no decorations

Entry way with no decorations

I hung the wreath with some burlap wired ribbon I already had on hand. I simply looped the ribbon, I wanted it flat, and nailed it to the window frame. I recommend being very careful doing this on an old window. Some window glass is thinner and older than mine and can shatter under the force of a hammer!

Now that I had my base wreath, I was able to start exploring the endless options. I like to decorate this for the seasons versus holidays – same with my door wreath. For Christmas, I simply put some holly branches and poinsettias found cheap at me local dollar store, cut them to fit, and stuck them in the wreath! I eventually added some nice filler to my vase as well.

Once the season moved on, I simply wrap my pieces in newspaper and label what it went to. Then it goes into storage. I also snap some shots to remind me next year how I decorated the space – that is where these came from 🙂

Onto spring! I got some small wooden letters from my local craft store and colored them with a permanent marker, secured them into the wreath. I then found super cheap floral pieces and filled the other side of it. This was very colorful but it matched a Spring banner I had in my living room. I tossed my lovely nest laden branches in my vase. 5 minutes tops to decorate this 😀

Spring entry way

Spring entry way

For the summer, I simply removed spring and added a yellow forsythia branch to the vase. Life was starting to get a little hectic with a crawling curious baby!

Summer entry way

Summer entry way

I wasn’t really in love with this. For next year, I think I am going to do something a bit more Patriotic.

I had decorated this for fall, with some fall leaves placed in the wreath and more fall branches in the vase – you get the picture? Good, because I don’t have one!

I hope you enjoyed my lazy decorating sense 🙂

Keep Reclaiming!

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